Blog dedicated primarily to randomly selected news items; comments reflecting personal perceptions

Wednesday, August 24, 2016


"We know that in the United States preschool-aged children's wake time is a less modifiable behaviour than encouraging an early bedtime."
"They could just stay up late and sleep in, but for many families these days, young children need to get up, not so much because they physiologically want to wake up, but because their family needs to go to work or school."
"It's also plausible that above and beyond sleep variations, having a regular routine could theoretically have an independent effect on adolescent obesity."
"Getting the television out of the child's bedroom is a good place to start [to avoid bedtime distractions]."
Dr. Sarah Anderson, Ohio State University College of Public Health
Girl sleeping in bedMeiko Takechi Arquillos
It is common knowledge -- in any event it should be and particularly among parents of young children -- that young and very young children have sleep requirements far in excess of  their older siblings, and certainly far more than adults. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine published recent recommendations of ten to thirteen hours of sleep every day (naps and night-time sleep included) for optimal health.

A new study, published in The Journal of Pediatrics, posits an additional reason why young children should have adequate sleep. Lead author of the study, Dr. Sarah Anderson, suggests that accustoming a child to an early bedtime represents the most reliable method of making certain that young children do receive the amount of sleeping hours they require to be healthy.

Close to a thousand preschool children were tracked for this study which began in 1995. The researchers discovered that of the children whose routine was bedtime at 8:00 p.m. or earlier, ten percent became obese teenagers. Those children whose bedtime routine was 9:00 p.m. or later, however saw 23 percent of those in their teen years being obese. The study focused on the finding of insufficient sleep in the early years leading to a greater incidence of obesity by the teen years.

It did not attempt to go further, to analyze just why this occurs. Other studies, however, have looked at cause and effect. And some of that research concludes that children lacking sufficient sleep in their early years  are subject to hormonal balance changes, impacting appetite and metabolism. It has been suggested that children whose routine is a late bedtime may snack in the evening, consuming more calories than their early-sleep peers and setting up a pattern deleterious to overall health.

Parents who make a concerted effort to establish a nightly ritual, with the intention of habituating their children to early bedtimes are preparing their children for a lifetime of improved sleep patterns. Consistency and firmness in beginning such a routine when children are young, culminated in better outcomes for the children, according to research.

A  consistent bedtime routine has been identified with sleep quality, children resting and sleeping more comfortably and as a result being less likely to be disturbed during the night. Parents have been urged by experts to accustom the child to anticipate regular activities in an expected order on a nightly basis. All preparatory to a child looking forward to bedtime.

May be appropriate
Not recommended
0-3 months

14 to 17 hours
11 to 13 hours
18 to 19 hours
Less than 11 hours
More than 19 hours
4-11 months

12 to 15 hours
10 to 11 hours
16 to 18 hours
Less than 10 hours
More than 18 hours
1-2 years

11 to 14 hours
9 to 10 hours
15 to 16 hours
Less than 9 hours
More than 16 hours
3-5 years

10 to 13 hours
8 to 9 hours
14 hours
Less than 8 hours
More than 14 hours
School-aged Children
6-13 years

9 to 11 hours
7 to 8 hours
12 hours
Less than 7 hours
More than 12 hours
14-17 years

8 to 10 hours
7 hours
11 hours
Less than 7 hours
More than 11 hours
Young Adults
18-25 years

7 to 9 hours
6 hours
10 to 11 hours
Less than 6 hours
More than 11 hours Sleep Foundation. Org

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